On Being an Insomniac

A friend of mine recently mentioned (with my permission) to a large group of people that I’m an insomniac.  As expected, several people had/have questions about it.  I write this now as a place to point to as more or less a FAQ for those wondering about my personal experience with insomnia.

First and foremost, no.  It’s not every night.  Sometimes I’ll sleep for a good 6-10 hours with no problem–on weekends I’ll sometimes sleep the day away, in fact.  It comes in random, albeit lengthy pockets.  When it DOES come, it’s more than one night in a row–having one night where you have trouble getting to sleep does not make you an insomniac.  An established pattern does.  When it’s bad, four hours a night is on the HIGH end.  I often exist for several days or even a week to two on 2-3 hours on work nights.  More on the weekends, when I don’t have to set an alarm.

It is not fun.  I’m not up partying and carousing.  James Urbaniak recently did a podcast where he talked about insomnia, and he nailed it dead on.  It’s not a time where you can get work done, since you’re up anyway.  You’re still exhausted.  You just can’t sleep, and it makes you useless.  Uselessness is a primary symptom of insomnia.  It’s not the college student who is up all night slapping together a ten page paper he had months to do but he waited until the last minute.  It’s not the party-going drunkard out until all hours having fun with his friends.  It’s the guy who wants to sleep, tries to sleep, and doesn’t sleep.  It’s actually fairly miserable.  You can’t get anything done.  Any attempt to do so will be looked upon by one’s self the next morning with derision and disappointment.  And in my case, usually with buyer’s remorse.  I literally bought $200 worth of art online one night.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Sometimes I can nap during the day.  Obviously not on work days.  But yes, when I am finally able to sleep, I do.  Unfortunately, insomnia is a vicious round of second-winds…and most of them come just before my eyes shut.  When I can sleep, I do.  When I can’t, I don’t.  And I still have to find ways to function.

It is not caused by my caffeine intake.  My caffeine intake is actually pretty consistent between bouts of insomnia.  It doesn’t go up or down.  When I’m sleeping regularly, my coffee-to-human ratio is roughly the same as when I’m up until all hours being useless.  I’ve looked into it, and that’s the way it is.

I usually just lay there.  “Why don’t you just try going to bed anyway?” you say.  I do.  That’s exactly what I do.  I go to bed and I lay there for several hours not sleeping.  Sometimes I’ll get up and watch TV or read a book, sure.  But a lot of times, I’m in bed, being very quiet, and staying very awake.

Sleepytime tea–although delicious–does not help.  It just doesn’t.  Stop suggesting it.

Yes, I’ve tried praying about it.  Stop suggesting that too.  I’m actually something of a Deist anyway.  (Though not 100%.  I’ve written about that before, and I might again later.)

No, I have not participated in a sleep study and I have not actively sought medication.  As for the drugs, I have a stern “no pills–that shit killed Heath Ledger” rule.  I will not break that.  As for sleep studies, I have difficulty sleeping in strange places, and I therefore get the sense that the results would be skewed.  If it’s a medical issue, it’s a damn stupid one, and I don’t trust doctors.  I have previously tried some OTC remedies, and YES they’ve included Melatonin.  It doesn’t work very well.  The only thing I’ve noticed is that my dreams get uncomfortably vivid, making the sleep I DO get much less restful.  Now, I know there are those of you out there right now saying, “So you don’t WANT to get better?”  Of course I do.  But I do not believe medicine is the answer in my case.

I do think I know what causes it.  I am not comfortable sharing it with everyone on the Internet.

And a note about YOUR behavior when I mention being tired or not sleeping well, good reader.  Please do not ask me, “Why can’t you sleep?” or “Have you tried (your specific remedy)?”  That’s roughly akin to knowing someone has the flu and asking them, “Why do you have a fever?  Have you tried NOT having a fever?”  If you did, the person with the flu would be well within their rights to hold you down and lick you on several mucus membranes.  Fair warning… I’m not sure what the insomniac version of that should be…so any time someone asks me why I’m not sleeping and offers me their solution, I plan to likewise hold them down and lick their mucus membranes.  It will be uncomfortable and weird for both of us–at first anyway–so let’s not go down that path.  Please do not treat it as though it is somehow my FAULT, and we’ll avoid all unnecessary licking, defined of course based on our individual relationship and past history.

And perhaps that is the primary issue.  I am an insomniac.  Through NO fault of my own.  I did not become an insomniac due to some mistake I made in my past or due to poor choices being made presently.  I feel ridiculous calling it a “disease” even though it is…  It’s just when you stack it up against cancer or diabetes or MS, it doesn’t really feel like it’s a “disease.”  More like a “condition.”  Whatever it is, it’s not the fault of the person who has it.  It’s just our own personal hell that we have to struggle through, and those who don’t have it probably will not ever fully understand it or empathize.  Oh well.  Hopefully I’ll never have to understand and empathize with cancer or MS or whatever either.  If insomnia and the lack of understanding of it is the worst I have to deal with, so much the better–I’ll take my knocks.

But regardless…  Just try to be nice about it, okay?  It IS a problem.  No matter what your assumptions or misconceptions.  It is something people SUFFER from–many much worse than myself.  People have been hospitalized and even died from insomnia-related disorders.  It’s not fun.  It’s not silly.  It’s not dismiss-able.  It’s not something to be laughed at (and yeah, I heard a couple of snickers when my friend mentioned it the other day–and that DOES hurt when people do it…it really, really does).  It’s a real thing, a real disease, and it’s hell.  I’m just lucky enough to have a little less hell than some of my insomniac brethren and sisteren (not a word!).

Hope that helped clear it up for anyone who’s been wondering.  If not, feel free to politely ask any questions that were not covered above.

Sweet dreams.

Summer Soundtrack

Because I’m nuts, I keep a small journal of all of the music I (intentionally) listen to.  If I popped in a CD or loaded it on the iPod, it gets written down in a pretentious little Moleskin notebook.  Figured I should do something with that from time to time…so here we go.  Here’s what I listened to from June 20, 2012 through September 21, 2012.  This was the soundtrack of my Summer.  (Please note – For some reason, I do a much worse job of jotting down what I listen to on the weekends/holidays, so there are some days missing.  Most of this was listened to in the car or sitting around the house.  Some was on headphones at work.)

  • June 20, 2012
    Rush – Time Machine Tour
    Rush – Clockwork Angels
  • June 21, 2012
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    Beatles – Artist on shuffle
    Tom Waits – Bad As Me
    Lou Reed – Set the Twilight Reeling
  • June 22, 2012
    Beatles – Artist on shuffle
    Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast
  • June 25, 2012
    Rufus Wainwright – Artist on shuffle
  • June 26, 2012
    Derek Brink – Pop Art Manifesto demos
    Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost
    Beatles – Artist on shuffle
    Tom Waits – Bad As Me
  • June 27, 2012
    Derek Brink – Pop Art Manifesto demos
    Lumineers – Self Titled
  • June 28, 2012
    Shooter Jennings – Black Ribbons
    U2 – Playlist
    Rush – Clockwork Angels
  • June 29, 2012
    Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet
    Tom Waits – Early Years Vol 2
    Sharon Van Ettan – Tramp
  • June 30, 2012
    Lumineers – Self Titled
  • July 1, 2012
    Frank Zappa – Artist on shuffle
  • July 2, 2012
    iPod on shuffle
  • July 3, 2012
    iPod still on shuffle – Trying to build anticipation for listening to Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper closer to the road trip.
  • July 4, 2012
    No entry.
  • July 5, 2012
    Alice Cooper – Artist on Shuffle
  • July 6, 2012
    Alice Cooper – Artist on Shuffle
  • July 7, 2012
    No entries.
  • July 8, 2012
    …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Century of Self
  • July 9, 2012
    Rush – Clockwork Angels
  • July 10, 2012
    Queen – Artist on shuffle
  • July 11, 2012
    Beatles – Artist on shuffle
    Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind
  • July 12, 2012
    Elvis Costello – The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook
  • July 13, 2012
    Driving Down Woodson Playlist (Think I posted this playlist elsewhere.  If not, it has since been lost, since the iPod is a wank and mine is now dead.)
  • July 14, 2012
    No entry
  • July 15, 2012
    No entry.
  • July 16, 2012
    Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
    Iron Maiden – Playlist based on the 2012 tour setlist.
  • July 17, 2012
    Iron Maiden playlist
  • July 18, 2012
    Iron Maiden playlist
  • July 19, 2012 – Road trip to IN for Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper
    Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
    Rush – Clockwork Angels
    Queen – Greatest Hits
    Deep Purple – Best of the 80s
    Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper in Concert
  • July 20, 2012 – Coming home from IN.
    Tenacious D – Rise of the Fenix
    Johnny Cash – Live at Folsom Prison
    Wilson Pickett – Greatest Hits
    Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera
  • July 21, 2012
    Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
    Alice Cooper – Theatre of Death
  • July 22, 2012
    No entry.
  • July 23, 2012
    Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
    Alice Cooper – Theatre of Death
  • July 24, 2012
    Alice Cooper playlist.
  • July 25, 2012
    Centro-Matic – Candidate Waltz
    Lou Reed playlist
  • July 26, 2012
    Tom Waits – Bad As Me
    Rollins Band – Weight
  • July 27, 2012
    Tom Waits playlist
  • July 28, 2012
    iPod on shuffle
  • July 29, 2012
    iPod on shuffle
  • July 30, 2012
    Iron Maiden – Final Frontier
    Iron Maiden – Artist on shuffle
  • July 31, 2012
    Iron Maiden – Artist on shuffle
    Rush – Clockwork Angels
    iPod briefly on shuffle
    Drive-By Truckers playlist
  • August 1, 2012
    Drive-By Truckers playlist
    Old 97s – Mostly Grand Theatre Vol. 1, and assorted others.
  • August 2, 2012
    Mumford & Sons – Sign No More
  • August 3, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 4, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 5, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 6, 2012
    Aimee Mann playlist
    Tom Waits playlist
  • August 7, 2012
    Broke my iPod–because iPods suck and should not be purchased. So I stopped at Vintage Vinyl on my way home.
    Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach – Painted from Memory
  • August 8, 2012
    Tom Waits – Glitter and Doom
    Bottle Rockets – Blue Sky
    Lou Reed – Street Hassle
    Soul Asylum – Delayed Reaction
  • August 9, 2012
    …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Madonna
    Soul Asylum – Best of…
    Soul Asylum – Delayed Reaction
    Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
    Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach – Painted from Memory
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
  • August 10, 2012
    Raven Wolf – Spiritual Jazz…on South 9th Street
    Elvis Costello –  The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook
    Tom Waits – Glitter and Doom
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
  • August 11, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 12, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 13, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 14, 2012
    Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
    Lou Reed – Perfect Night: Live in London
    Elvis Costello – National Ransom
  • August 15, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 16, 2012
    Lou Reed – New Sensations
    Elvis Costello – National Ransom
    Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game
    Lou Reed – Street Hassle
    Lou Reed – Transformer
    Queen – News of the World
    Count Basie – Finest Hour
    Kaiser Chiefs – Off with Their Heads
  • August 17, 2012
    Lou Reed – New Sensations
    Queen – A Day at the Races
  • August 18, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 19, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 20, 2012
    Metric – Synthetica
  • August 21, 2012
    Still Metric – And I found out that Lou Reed does the background vocal on “Wanderlust.”  🙂
  • August 22, 2012
    Metric – Synthetica
    Judy Garland – Live at Carnegie Hall
  • August 23, 2012
    David Bowie – Reality
    Metric – Synthetica
    Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
  • August 24, 2012
    The Who – Who’s Next
    Heartless Bastards – Arrow
    Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
    Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game
    Rush – Clockwork Angels
  • August 25, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 26, 2012
    No entry.
  • August 27, 2012
    Leonard Cohen – Songs from the Road
    Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
    Metric – Synthetica
    Leonard Cohen – Songs from the Road
  • August 28, 2012
    Aimee Mann – The Forgotten Arm
    Lou Reed – Street Hassle
    Lou Reed – Berlin
    Drive-By Truckers – Decoration Day
    Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game
  • August 29, 2012
    Those Darlins – self-titled
    Those Darlins – Screws Get Loose
    David Bowie – Best of
    Johnny Cash – Artist on shuffle
  • August 30, 2012
    The Who – Tommy
    Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
    RAMONES – Anthology
  • August 31, 2012
    The Who – Quadrophenia
    Velvet Underground – Artist on shuffle
  • September 1, 2012
    No entry.
  • September 2, 2012
    No entry.
  • September 3, 2012
    No entry.
  • September 4, 2012
    Elvis Costello – Live at Hollywood High
    Elvis Costello –  The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook
    Elvis Costello – National Ransom
    David Bowie – At the Beeb, Live Disc.
  • September 5, 2012
    Elvis Costello – Live at Hollywood High
    David Bowie – Hours
    Lou Reed – Street Hassle
  • September 6, 2012
    Lou Reed – Perfect Night: Live in London
    RAMONES – Anthology
  • September 7, 2012
    Iggy Pop – Beat ‘Em Up
    Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
    Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
  • September 8, 2012
    No entry.
  • September 9, 2012
    No entry.
  • September 10, 2012
    Iggy Pop – Skull Ring
    Lou Reed and Metallica – Lulu
  • September 11, 2012
    Michael Manring – Thonk
    The Stooges – Raw Power
    Bill Evans – Alone
    Michael Manring – Soliloquy
  • September 12, 2012
    Lou Reed and John Cale – Songs for Drella
    Michael Manring – Soliloquy
    Metric – Synthetica
    Neurotic Outsiders – self-titled
    The Stooges – Raw Power
  • September 13, 2012
    Tim Barry – Rivanna Junction
    Lou Reed – Animal Serenade
    Michael Manring – The Book of Flame
    Neurotic Outsiders – Self-titled
  • September 14, 2012
    Bill Evans – Alone
    Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
    The Clash – First record
    Bill Evans – Alone
    Tom Waits – Bad As Me
    Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
  • September 15, 2012
    No entry.
  • September 16, 2012
    Big Black – Songs About Fucking
    Husker Du – Warehouse: Songs & Stories
    Bob Mould – Silver Age
    Alanis Morissette – Havoc and Bright Lights
  • September 17, 2012
    Bob Mould – Silver Age
    Soul Asylum – Delayed Reaction
  • September 18, 2012
    Bob Mould – Silver Age
    The Clash – First record
    The Stooges – Raw Power
    Rush – Clockwork Angels
    Alanis Morissette – Havoc and Bright Lights
    Bob Mould – Silver Age
  • September 19. 2012
    Bob Mould – Silver Age
    Husker Du – Warehouse: Songs & Stories
    …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Century of Self
    Sugar – Copper Blue
    Aimee Mann – Charmer
    Bob Mould – Black Sheets of Rain
    Husker Du – Candy Apple Grey
    Sugar – Copper Blue
    Sugar – Beaster
  • September 20, 2012
    Aimee Mann – Charmer
    Husker Du – Candy Apple Grey
    The Who – Quadrophenia
    Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game
    Sugar – Copper Blue
    Bob Mould – Black Sheets of Rain
  • September 21, 2012
    Husker Du – Candy Apple Grey – Particularly focusing on “Hardly Getting Over It”
    Bob Mould – Black Sheets of Rain
    Bob Mould – Silver Age
    Aimee Mann – Charmer
    Mark Lanegan Band – Blues Funeral
    Sugar – Copper Blue

…and that was Summer.  What will Fall bring?  Based on the list above…who the hell knows?  But a lot of it will apparently repeat itself for several days in a row.

50 Punk Rock Bands

Been listening to/buying a lot of punk rock lately.  And when I listen to punk, I want to talk about punk.  So…

Following is a list of names you should be aware of, should you choose to be a punk rock fan.  I’m not saying they’re all great.  I’m not saying I own music by each of these bands.  And most of all, I’m not claiming that this is a definitive list.  I’m just saying that if you want to talk about punk, you should probably have a working knowledge of these acts.  (I’ll elaborate on my favorites or on the ones I feel I need to.)  This post also gets a little sweary…but it’s about PUNK.  You should expect some swearing.

Enjoy!

A Punk Rock Primer:

  1. RAMONES – Godfathers of Punk, who kind of started it all.
  2. Sex Pistols – Britain’s answer to the RAMONES.  The Pistols perfected it.
  3. Black Flag – Particularly in the era when Dez was in the band.
  4. Henry Rollins – Sprung out of Black Flag and in his solo career took punk into a more complex direction that kind of bridged the gap between punk and metal.  (Many refuse to call his solo career punk at all, in fact.  But I maintain that there’s a case for it.)
  5. Iggy Pop/Iggy and the Stooges – Iggy’s the Forefather of Punk, and “Raw Power” is one of the definitive punk records.
  6. Descendents/ALL – Same band, different singer.  All good.
  7. The Clash – They stopped being punk at some point…but the first record is especially a must.
  8. Headstones – Canadian act.  More important to ME than to history.
  9. Billy Talent – See above.
  10. Dropkick Murphys – Probably the most successful of the acts that marry punk to traditional Irish music.
  11. Flogging Molly – Probably the BEST act that marries punk to traditional Irish.  (Think Pogues, but heavier.)
  12. Wayne/Jayne County = Punk’s first transsexual.  No kidding.
  13. Rancid
  14. Lars Frederiksen & the Bastards
  15. Bad Religion
  16. The Damned – And you should also have a working knowledge of who Captain Sensible is…
  17. Husker Du – Responsible for punk becoming pop-punk.  And also check out Bob Mould’s solo career–his new record “Silver Age” is great.
  18. DOA – There’s a man in the band named Joey Shithead.  What’s not to love?
  19. Agnostic Front
  20. Germs – Long-standing dream of mine and my brother’s to invent a dance called the Darby Crash, in reference to their lead singer.  Some day…some day…  (And if you love the Foo Fighters, it might interest you to know that Foos guitarist Pat Smear came from here.  And Belinda Carlisle played drums for them under the name “Dottie Danger.”)
  21. Circle Jerks
  22. FEAR – Most notable for their one SNL appearance where they caused $20,000 in damage to the set.  Also “I Love Living in the City” is a great song.
  23. Minor Threat
  24. MC5 – Just barely punk…kind of on the ROAD to punk…  They somehow bridged the gap making it okay for Doors fans to like the Stooges.
  25. Richard Hell and the Voidoids
  26. NOFX
  27. Anti-Flag
  28. X
  29. Velvet Underground – Again…they just barely count.  Considered the GRAND-fathers of punk, but I’ve never been clear on why so many people credit them with inventing it.  They created some of the idealism and the lyrical debauchery, I guess…but not the sound.  A punk fan hears them and thinks, “What’s this hippie, stoner bullshit?”  Then they listen to them again in their mid 20s and get why it’s brilliant.
  30. Suicidal Tendencies
  31. Sonic Youth
  32. AFI
  33. Rise Against
  34. Dead Milkmen
  35. Social Distortion
  36. Off – A new add.  Made the list to make it an even 50, but also because their old-school production warmed my heart when I heard it.
  37. Minutemen
  38. Fugazi
  39. Stiff Little Fingers – Irish act.  Pick up “Inflammable Material” and enjoy.  “Alternative Ulster” and “Wasted Life” are staples.  So is their version of “Johnny Was,” even though I hate Bob Marley.
  40. Misfits – Horror movies and fun.  They invented thrash/hardcore by accident.  Also the starting point of Glenn Danzig…but nobody’s perfect.
  41. Bad Brains – THESE assholes are responsible for that rasta-punk bullshit…but the first couple albums were good.
  42. Minor Threat
  43. Dead Kennedys
  44. Green Day – Controversial…  They were really only punk up through “Insomniac,” and they kept pretending they weren’t.  And now they’re definitely not, but they say they are.  They’re basically a bunch of sellout fucks and I hate them and always have (never even owned “Dookie” in the 90s)…and Billy Joe should stop pretending to be British when he sings…but they were important…so here they are.
  45. MXPX – Pretty much the only GOOD Christian punk act.  You wouldn’t necessarily even KNOW they were a Christian act unless someone told you, which is probably why it works.  I have a particular fondness for the “Life in General” record.
  46. Legendary Shack Shakers – Col. JD is the last great living frontman.  They’re kind of in the cow-punk variety, but live it’s so hard to notice the country influence that you’d forget it.  They also have some Christian elementsto their act, what with the bass player having formerly worked with Rich Mullins and being a member of the on-again-off-again (and excellent) “This Train.”  But, for my money, they’re at their best live among the drunk, ugly rock fans.
  47. Reverend Horton Heat – More rock-a-billy leaning into country…  Definite cow punk…but there’s a real hard edge there, and some awesome mosh-pits.  They’re the country act it’s okay for the punkers to love.
  48. Supersuckers – Or the Supersuckers…the Supersuckers are also the country act it’s okay for the punkers to love.  Even though I only lean into thinking they’re okay.  My brother’s a big fan, but personally I wish their lyrics weren’t always so damn silly.  But I think I’m just not quite getting the joke and fun of it.  Probably need to see them live.  “Pretty Fucked Up” is a good song, anyway.
  49. Buzzcocks – If you claim to love punk, but haven’t heard “What Do I Get?,” “Ever Fallen in Love,” and/or “Orgasm Addict,” you’re lying to yourself and others.
  50. GG Allin – Painful to think about, honestly.  The music was awful…the guy frequently went for days without bathing or wiping his ass (not joking) and defecation was a regular part of his stage show.  It’s more important to know the legend than to actually LIKE him…because he didn’t seem to want to be liked.  Just a really screwed up dude who was a complete train wreck…  But that’s what a train wreck is.  It’s hard to want to look at, but hard to look away from.  I definitely wouldn’t recommend checking him out…but he belongs in the lexicon, all the same.

So there you go…  Turn it up loud, if you turn it up at all.

(Notable omissions – The Get Up Kids, who basically started Emo. Nirvana, who were important to Grunge and AREN’T Punk, but are often mistaken for it.  And there are those who credit Motorhead with being a good transitional act between punk and metal.)

Trends I’m Pretty Much Over

We’re all guilty of it.  Something comes along that’s kind of funny or unique or entertaining, and we like it so we jump on board…but then it gets ground into the–uhh–ground to the point that it’s irritating to even think about it.  That happens a LOT in the day and age of the Internet, and it’s a FAST transition from “that’s hilarious!” to “the hell with that thing!”  So, with that in mind, here is a list of trends I’m OVER.  Because I have so little else to say.  (And yes, I was on board with several of these at one point…so one finger pointing at you, rest at myself, and all that…)

Fair warning: This gets a little bit sweary.  Sorry.  I promise I’ll grow up some day.

  1. Pirates
    Sick of it.  It was funny for a while, but we’re done here.  Pirates aren’t really funny anyway.  There’s a romance to them in literature…but the real ones are just brutal, and yes they’re still out there.  But the fact that it’s a real-world problem isn’t why I’m sick of it.  I’m mostly just sick of 20-year-olds yelling, “Arr!” at me.
  2. Ninjas
    Same basic thing.  Except I’m not really sure why the ninja thing was ever supposed to be funny.  When I was a kind in the 80s, we had a surge of ninja-based movies…and they were awesome.  So I guess it’s kind of a throwback to that.  But I just didn’t really get the whole ninja thing.
  3. Zombies
    Don’t get me wrong.  I’ll come back.  I love zombies, and I’ll get back on board.  It’s just over done these days.  I honestly can’t remember the last time I went 24 hours without hearing about the “Zombie Apocalypse” (or “Zombocalypse”).  I blame “The Walking Dead.”  And I like that show, don’t misread me.  It’s just that the show’s SO good that now zombies are everywhere all of the time.  And it’s enough.  Let it rest so I can enjoy it again, please.
  4. Aliens
    Seriously…what’s the last movie that had a twist plot-point to it that didn’t involve aliens?  Aliens are the answer to EVERYTHING now.  Hell, the last Indiana Jones movie may as well have been called “Indiana Jones and the Search for Spock.”  I’m sick of it.  Flat-out sick of it to the point that I’m almost bored of sci-fi.  (Though I’ll never betray Star Trek or Doctor Who—but those are different situations.  Aliens are treated as other cultures rather than mysteries.)
  5. Mustaches
    I don’t know why it’s funny.  I don’t know why women think it’s funny to draw one on their finger and hold it under their nose.  I don’t know why they make a mustache decal you can put on the front of your car.  I don’t know why people throw mustache parties.  I don’t get it.  At all.  It’s just a damn mustache.
  6. Chuck Norris
    You know what?  Screw Chuck Norris.  He’s batshit crazy, he hasn’t done anything worth watching since the ninja trend in the 80s and the only thing I have enjoyed about him at ALL was the Chuck Norris Lever on the old Conan show—and that’s because it pointed out that he’s batshit crazy and hasn’t done anything worth watching since the ninja trend in the 80s.  Chuck Norris is a walking joke, and he doesn’t even know it.  He can sell all the solo-flex-ab-shaping-and-shame-building machines he wants.  But I’m sick of hearing about how he’s unstoppable and invented water.  And I also don’t find HIS mustache very funny either.
  7. Things Being Gluten Free
    For the 1% of society (and I think that’s an actual statistic) that has celiac disease, it’s a legitimate need.  For the rest of you, you heard words you didn’t understand on “Nightline” and diagnosed yourself as having an “allergy.”  Celiac disease is a disease.  It’s not a trend.  People who have diseases want and deserve treatment and cures…they don’t need trendy-assed soccer moms screwing up potato chips and rice for the rest of us.
  8. Everybody Having “ADD”
    Attention Deficit Disorder is a real thing and it deserves our attention.  However, it is not to be confused with a kid being a kid and not giving a shit about school and being wired from too much sugar.  It also shouldn’t be confused with bad parents who can’t tolerate all the noise from the kids they probably shouldn’t have had right out of high-school, so they drug the kid and strip them of their personality.  (My generation is typically impatient—and kids are typically loud and irritating…so we’ve decided to drug them because WE’RE terrible people, not because THEY’RE sick.)  It also should not be confused with someone who just doesn’t pay a-fucking-ttention.  But for those who actually have it, you have my complete sympathy and support.
  9. Rap
    What’s that one rap song?  You know… The one that’s about the bitches and the hos and the money?  That one?  I think it’s new?  Oh…wait…no…  That’s every rap song since like 1990.  We’re done here.

And that’s just a sampling.  If you get to know me, you’ll find that I’m even MORE bitter and hate-filled under the surface!

————

Current Listening:

  • The Clash
  • Neurotic Outsiders
  • Iggy and the Stooges

“They said if I came in late again that I would get fired, and I can’t risk that, so I’m not going.” – Homer Simpson

Well, I let a week go by…so let’s catch up, random style.

  1. I met Claire McCaskill on Saturday.  She stopped by the grand opening of the North County location to say hello to workers and supporters.  I went and signed up to get more info on how I can help.  She spoke for about 10-15 minutes and was very good and energizing.  On Facebook, I said that I want to feel as excited and passionate about meeting my politicians as I would meeting my favorite bands…and that’s how I felt.  I was nervous and excited to say hello.  I said (I think this is verbatim), “God bless you and thank you for running.  I met Todd Akin in the 90s and I haven’t felt right since, so it’s an honor to meet you.”  And she laughed loudly and shook my hand.  She was very kind and graceful, and she looked great and seemed in high-spirits.  It was pretty cool.  And I also met Margo McNeil, who my Dad has known for a long time, but I don’t think I’ve met before.  I’m hoping to help out with her campaign as well.  It was a good afternoon.
  2. Played at church today, with Jeremy leading.  I for some reason am having trouble remembering the titles of a couple of the songs…  But I know “How Great Thou Art,” “Breathe,” and “Nothing But the Blood” were in there.  And I wore the Bowie shirt with the logo from the Doamond Dogs era.
  3. I’m putting a conscious effort into cleaning and decorating at the house.  It’s exhausting!  🙂
  4. A guy unfriended me on Facebook this week because when he tried to start a political argument with me, I pointed out that he hadn’t spoken to me in like 5 years and THAT’S what he chose to speak to me about–not my band, not my family, etc…but politics.  So we’re not friends anymore.  Oh well.  Hope he and his are well and remain well.  I’m not the one who walked away, and I’ll be kind if he should choose to walk back.  I’m sure he thought he was standing up for his principles.  Can’t fault someone for that.  Wasn’t even a big blow-out, for which he deserves credit.  This paragraph is probably longer than the words we traded.
  5. I can’t believe the weekend is already gone.  Totally not ready to go back to work tomorrow.  Just feels like there was so much more sleeping I was supposed to get done!
  6. I’ve been re-reading “Please Kill Me” (it’s a history of punk rock, if you’re unfamiliar).  It’s way better now than it was the first time I read it, mostly because I know more of the names now.  Going to make a soundtrack to go with it soon.  Presently just blasting Iggy Pop.  🙂
  7. In line with the decorating I’m doing at the house, I’m building what I’m calling a “Rock Wall.”  Posters and prints of my favorite rock bands, with apologies to Jeremy, who probably isn’t as big a fan of some of the stuff I’m putting up as I am.  So far, the Who and the Drive-By Truckers have found the wall.  Want to buy some more stuff though.  Thinking RAMONES, Bowie, Lou Reed (or Velvet Underground), Queen…so on.  I’m mostly just having fun dreaming about it.
  8. Found out that the Campbell’s Soup people have released cans with labels inspired by the Warhol soup labels, exclusively through Target.  GOT to get some.  Want to put them all along the tops of my cabinets, if I can get enough of them.
  9. Doctor Who is showing new episodes at the moment.  So yay!
  10. Best wishes to my friend Rick, who just left a 16 year job working at the Fantasy Shop (comic book store) to follow a dream and take a few chances.  I know I’ll see him around, but I’ll miss buying comics from him.  Hope he finds joy and success in whatever’s ahead!

Well, there’s plenty more to say…but I’m sleepy and I need to go to bed while I can sleep.  So I’ll try to post more during the week…but no promises.  I’m way more active on tumblr, and I find myself forgetting to write here.  So check that out, if you miss me.  🙂

A Day in the Life — Which is a really good Beatles song, but I’m not intentionally referencing it…

I typically wake up twice in the morning.  I set one alarm that is the time I really SHOULD get up.  Then I set a second alarm that is set for the last POSSIBLE second that I COULD get up and still arrive at where-ever it is that I need to go before anyone says, “You’re very late today” and I have to then explain that, “That’s because I didn’t get out of bed until ten minutes ago and I’ve given up on impressing you.”

I often get up ten minutes after the second alarm.

This morning (yesterday morning, to most of you, since it is now past midnight), I woke up to the first alarm and groaned.  It was Sunday morning, and usually on Sundays I’m a little bit keener to get up than on other days, because I know that even if I’m not feeling great or if I’m in a bad mood or frustrated, I’m going to see a few people I like at church and I’ll feel better after leaving than I did when I got there.  That was not the case this morning.  This morning, my first thought was, “Ugh…I really don’t want to do this.  I want to go back to sleep.  I don’t want to lift speakers, I don’t want to sing, and I don’t want to see people I like or who like me.  I want to go back to sleep and just stay in bed all day.”  I honestly thought, “Is there ANY way I can get out of church today???”

So I rolled over, awaiting the fabled Second Alarm.  And before the Second Alarm went off, I fell back to sleep…

…and I dreamed about “The Exorcist.”  No kidding.

Then the Second Alarm went off, and I turned it off and thought, “Well, maybe I should go to church.”  So…you know…whatever gets you out of bed.

Showered, got dressed in the Harvey Pekar tribute shirt, and drove the half-hour into the city to get ready for the service.  I got into the church and Chase helped me move in my gear.  I started setting up and Bruce came in, shot me a smile and came over to chat with me for a while.  I plugged in my guitar—I played the Telecaster—and played a little bit of Lou Reed’s “Dirty Blvd.” to tune up.  I realized after a few times through the melody that it was an odd choice…but that happens.  Then Bruce and I chatted some more, and Lucas came in and chatted with me, and I chatted with Alan and Dan and Robert and I drank some apple juice.  And before long it was time for the service.  I shared the “Exorcist” story.  People laughed—one lady looked mildly shocked.  That happens, too.

Then I played these songs:

  1. All Creatures of Our God and King
  2. O How I Love Jesus
  3. I Will Praise You

Then Lucas gave a wonderful sermon on Mark 1 in the area of vs. 14 to 20-something.  Then I played these songs:

  1. It Is Well With My Soul–Had trouble singing the second verse.  I often get a little overcome by the “I bear it no more” line.  Happened today too.
  2. Blessed Be Your Name

Then I hugged a friend of mine who’s having a baby.  Then I packed up and Chase and CJ helped me move stuff out to the car.  Lucas complimented me on the job I did leading the music—which was very nice of him, and he really didn’t have to go out of his way to do it.  I was so grateful that he did that I forgot to tell him how much I loved his sermon, too.  I made a mental note to tell him next time.  And then I drove home, having seen a few people I like and feeling better after leaving than I did when I got there.

And then I sat around, then had dinner with my dad, and for the last hour or so I’ve been reading about Andy Warhol and The Factory.

…and that was today.